Tulsa Police Attend Workshops To Bridge Cultural Gaps

Tuesday, March 27th 2018, 10:51 pm

The Tulsa Police Department is gearing up for training to stop stereotyping and start bridging the cultural gap.

Officers say the workshops could help reduce crime and increase communication.

Next month, police will start training on implicit bias – attitudes and stereotypes everyone has subconsciously.

Tulsa Police say breaking down the bias will help break down the barriers.

“Right now, there certainly is distrust in some of the communities of police and the nationwide conversation sort of furthers that, said Captain Matt McCord.  “Even when things don’t happen in Tulsa, that still creates that divide.”

McCord says departments across the country are doing this training and police realized they needed it here in Tulsa.

Each officer will take a test to figure out where they stand when it comes to interacting with people from different cultures.

The goal is to help officers make good decisions, regardless of the race and background of the person they’re dealing with.

McCord says, “I hope we have a department which understands the community they serve.  We want them to be able to interact with anybody, in the most effective way, and I believe that we’ll be better at resolving conflict and better working with people at earning the trust of our community.”

The leader of the consulting firm is an internationally renowned trainer and is Tulsa-based.  Police say she understands the city’s history and current problems.

Training starts next month.  Eighteen officers are part of the pilot program.  They’ll meet with city leaders and then, ultimately, train the entire department next year.